After a day of choppy trade, European shares finished at their lowest since 1996 on concerns over the global economy and particularly the ailing financial sector.Investors dumped stocks seeking safety in cash and gold. London was the region’s worst performer, it finished down over three percent. On the financial front banks were broadly lower, including HSBC, Lloyds, Credit Suisse, UniCredit and Barclays while insurers slumped further as Munich Re reduced its medium-term earnings forecast. Standard Chartered was a rare gainer. The mainly Asian focused bank’s profit rose 19 percent last year. Energy company stocks suffering as oil prices failed to recovery from Monday’s 10 percent slump.